Welcome to the second edition of Digital Digest!
I’ve brought forward this entry because of the major news coming out of the WWE.com redesign that WWE Greatest Matches (the video on demand service) will now be a free.
Latest Digital News
– There had been some messages going out to some subscribers of WWE Greatest Matches earlier in the week stating “Please be aware that you will be experiencing content access modifications with your Greatest Matches subscription within the next few weeks. We will keep you informed of these changes as we move forward. Thank you for your loyal support. WWE Services”.
However from Saturday 10th March, videos no longer worked and on Sunday 11th March, WWE.com was completely redesigned with WWE Greatest Matches getting a total overhaul. I put in a technical issue message to the team on Saturday who asked me for further details, only for the site to be completely altered the next day.
But today, WWE Greatest Matches appears to have been transformed into a free site. According to WWE.com’s guided tour, “The ultimate source for the most epic confrontations and unforgettable matches in WWE history – is now totally FREE! From now on, access to WWE’s most colossal confrontations requires absolutely no subscription cost.”
There are lots of highlight videos featuring major moments from WWE but now that this has been made a free resource, I expect the site will be updated with fewer major matches since they will still want people to pay for DVD’s or digital downloads. However, there are some huge matches on there including many Wrestlemania classics (see the Top 3 below).
Another new issue is that the new Greatest Matches videos are region locked. Greatest Matches hadn’t previously been made 100% available everywhere but now it seems they have limited it even more. Regarding fans who had already paid for a annual fee, WWE stated that emails have gone out to those people and noted that no subscriber was charged for March.
There can be little doubt that the new WWE.com is very much looking to make the most of their video library and I suggest all WWE fans go check the new site out.
– As we know, the Best of the Clash of the Champions is due out in May. Looking at the chapter listings, I expect the digital version to be split into three separate volumes with each disc from the DVD representing a volume. All previous “Best of” home videos such as Ladder Match 2 and King of the Ring have been released in that format. The last edited version was Very Best of WCW Nitro back in June of last year.
– Also announced this week was WWE’s Falls Count Anywhere Matches set which will hit stores on June 28th, expected in the same volume format digitally, since I doubt there will be a documentary for this collection.
– WWE have also announced that their pay-per-views will be available to stream live via iPad and iPhone.
– WWE Classics On Demand looks to be continuing past April as they have a preview for next month “All April, go ‘Over the Top’ with WWE Classics On Demand as unusual Superstars and out of the ordinary matches are featured.” It was widely reported that WWE Classics On Demand was set to close in April due to the expected launch of the WWE Network but as we know that launch was pushed back. New videos have also been updated including a new Legends of the Wrestling roundtable where they discuss Celebrities in Wrestling.
– WWE Over the Limit 2012 is set to be released on June 19, 2012 in the US, so expect the digital version to hit online stores from the 18th.
– Vudu.com has listed Edge’s new movie “Bending the Rules” on its website so it be available digitally to rent and download from March 27th.
– Stone Cold Steve Austin’s latest movie “Recoil” is available to rent/buy on all platforms such as iTunes & Vudu.com. Prices for rental start at $3.99 for SD with a purchase price of $14.99 (whereas it’s just $9.99 on iTunes).
– Trish Stratus’s new movie “Bounty Hunters” is also now available is available to rent/buy on all platforms such as iTunes & Vudu.com. Prices for rental start at $3.99 for SD with a purchase price of $14.99. For UK readers, its also available through HMVondemand.com as are some other Steve Austin movies.
– Some WWE titles on Netflix have had their expiry dates moved back. Titles such as the Macho Madness: The Randy Savage Ultimate Collection, Tombstone Collection, the Hulk Hogan Anthology and many more. Each title has a different expiry date, i.e Edge’s title is available until June 2013, while Macho Madness is listed as only available until August 2012. Generally its worth checking every now and again to see what titles you have queued and prioritise some of the titles that are ending soon such as the Rise & Fall of WCW and John Cena Experience which run out in May (along with some other older titles such as Bobby Heenan, Twist of Fate etc). Recently the Big Show: A Giant’s World expired and hasn’t yet been made available again to stream, so it’s not 100% that titles will return.
– In some TNA news, it’s ‘March Social Media Madness’ month with a competition to win an entire year of TNAOnDemand.com’s VOD archive access. The winner will be chosen on March 19.
– In other news, WWNLive.com is offering Main Event Wrestling and Pro Wrestling’s THE RISING for just $2.99 for March only. The show features former TNA stars Jimmy Rave and Sonjay Dutt. Also on WWNLive.com, DGUSA’s next IPPV Open the Ultimate Gate 2012 which takes place on March 30, 2012 airs live for just $1.99.
Top 3 Downloads
1) WWE Championship: The Miz vs. John Cena
This year’s main event has been over a year in the making, so I thought I would go back to last years show as a nice preview for Wrestlemania 28. I felt the Miz held his own considering a year or two ago nobody would have imagined this would have been a great match between two guys who aren’t the greatest wrestlers. The Miz has come on in leaps and bounds which explains why the Miz walked out retaining his championship. I am not a big Cena fan and when the Miz kicked out of the Attitude Adjustment had me on the edge of my seat. Sadly after the Rock’s involvement in costing Cena the match and standing tall to close the show after giving his classic beat down on the Miz send the fans home happy, WWE’s need to build up some bigger stars was clear.
2) True Story of Wrestlemania
Trying to squeeze over 25 years of amazing moments into 2 hours would be tough, but I think they did it justice without going into too much detail. How they managed to jump between the different Wrestlemania’s without just going through the numbers is great in my opinion, as it keeps it fresh and you don’t know where it will go next. However there are some Wrestlemania’s that I don’t think they showed enough clips of and seem to skip straight through. The True Story of Wrestlemania is a well crafted, polished documentary that does the legacy and history of Wrestlemania proud. A nice way to warm up for this year’s show.
3) Bail Enforcers/Bounty Hunters
Former WWE Women’s champion Trish Stratus makes her film debut in Bail Enforcers/Bounty Hunters (never a good sign when a movie has two names). This movie is a very low budget flick that fans of Trish will love as it plays to her strengths in presenting her as super sexy and tough, especially in the fight scenes where you can tell that her wrestling skills have proved useful. The storyline goes along the lines of Trish being a part of a team of Bounty Hunters who get mixed up with a mobster but to be honest, the story isn’t really what anybody is interested in. Looks like Trish is following Steve Austin in appealing to the straight to video market and going by this first movie, it could work well for her since there may be plenty of fans willing to sit through 80 minutes of Trish (one scene involves a school girl outfit). If you’re interested in a basic action flick without too much thinking required, this one could be for you and is certainly better than the last couple of WWE Studios flicks.
Top 3 Videos on WWE Greatest Matches
Due to the changes at WWE.com these matches are now completely free to US fans, so here are three of my top Wrestlemania videos to get us warmed up for the biggest show of the year.
1) Wrestlemania 3 – Ricky Steamboat vs Randy Savage (watch)
Probably one of the greatest matches to have ever taken place in Wrestlemania history sees the “Macho Man” face off against “The Dragon” for the Intercontinental championship, and even to this day it’s considered the measuring stick by which all other Mania matches are compared. This is simply a classic fantastic match that I can’t recommend enough.
2) Wrestlemania X8 – The Rock vs Hollywood Hulk Hogan (watch)
With the Rock returning to Wrestlemania 28, this is a similar type of match where a legend from a previous generation comes back to the big event, but in this match it’s the Rock playing a similar role to John Cena of now. This is a Mania classic that still gives me goosebumps to this day when watching it back. Not a wrestling masterpiece like the aforementioned Savage/Steamboat classic, but all about entertaining, and with the fans in Toronto it’s even more of a spectacle. It’s also great to reflect back on the Rock when he was at his peak.
3) Wrestlemania XX – The Big Show vs John Cena (watch)
This isn’t the best bout from Wrestlemania XX, since that easily goes to the fantastic Eddie Guerrero vs Kurt Angle match (which is available to watch in its entirely on GM!) but this sees John Cena make his in-ring Mania debut as well as wining his first singles championship. It’s amazing to see how Cena has improved over the years and seeing the Big Show get FU’d is still astonishing, no matter how many times I’ve seen it since.